Manage episode 244113721 series 61749
Kurdish forces have a long history of siding with the United States. And the United States has a long history of eventually selling them out.
The latest iteration of this dynamic unfolded when Donald Trump ordered a small US military contingent to withdraw from Kurdish controlled parts of Northeastern Syria in advance of a likely Turkish military operation. The move came after phone call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Teyyep Erdogan in which Trump apparently acquiesced to a Turkish military operation against Kurdish fighters from the region.The situation is rapidly evolving -- so what I opted to do with this episode is speak with an expert on Kurdish politics and diplomacy, Morgan Kaplan, who provides some background and context so you can understand events as they unfold. Morgan Kaplan is the executive editor of the academic journal International Security at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School We kick off discussing the YPG -- these are the Kurdish forces who were the backbone of the fight against ISIS in Syria, and who control territory near the Turkish border. The US had backed them, while Turkey long accused them of being terrorists. We then discuss some of the broader geopolitics of this situation, including Turkish interests in the region; the role of Moscow and Damascus; and of course the Unites States fraught history with the Kurds. https://www.patreon.com/GlobalDispatches